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Message Board > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Adjusting woven pattern's armholes for stretch?

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Adjusting woven pattern's armholes for stretch?
How to alter an armhole for negative ease?
silverlilly1
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Subject: HELP!!Adjusting woven pattern's armholes for stretch? Date: 6/28/11 4:23 PM

I have a custom fitted bodice block made on my body with a non-stretch fabric. I've used it to make one dress in a woven fabric with pretty good success, but now I have a silk/spandex blend that I want to make the same dress in.

I have been reading that you should figure out what degree of stretch you want in the finished design, and reduce the width measurements by that percentage.

Given that my design has a curved front seam, where I can fit and take off excess fabric before finishing, I figured that the 12% reduction should be happening to the outside shoulder width, bottom of the armhole, and down the side seam. I'm not even sure if this if 100% correct.

My problem comes in the armhole alteration. If the shoulder width is decreasing by a small amount, and the point under the arm is decreasing by a larger amount (due to the width of the bodice at that point being a greater measurement to begin with, and applying a 12% width reduction), and my center front seam curve widens in the middle of the armhole, how do I shape the altered armhole to fit the new dimensions and still fit me? I read on Pattern School that the leg hole size in a swimsuit should not be reduced for stretch, because the fabric does not wrap around it, and it would seem that the same should apply for armholes.

I have to get about two of these done per week to get ready for an event (luckily the other ones aren't stretch), so I'm freaking out a little bit about how I'm going to get this done. Thanks for any help you can provide!
-- Edited on 6/28/11 7:28 PM --

lca
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Date: 6/29/11 4:38 PM

posted in wrong place
-- Edited on 6/29/11 4:39 PM --

silverlilly1
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Date: 6/29/11 11:06 PM

Where should this be, if not here?

stirwatersblue
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Subject: Adjusting woven patterns armholes for stretch? Date: 6/30/11 2:14 AM

Silver, I think she meant that SHE posted in the wrong place--probably she accidentally hit reply when she meant to reply to another thread? I don't think she meant you!

As for your question... are you changing from a woven to a knit? If not, you probably don't need to change anything as the stretch in the woven will just add more flexibility/movement and recovery. Unless you absolutely, positively need the garment to not alter its fit one iota as you wear it (like a corset or something)... in which case you wouldn't want to use a stretch fabric anyway.

If you are switching to a knit, you'll probably need to experiment. I'm not sure it's something that can be totally figured out mathematically in advance.

Good luck!

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~Gem in the prairie

Pinkytoo
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In reply to silverlilly1


Date: 6/30/11 7:39 AM

DISCLAIMER: I'm not a math major, in fact I sometimes have a hard time adding 2 + 2 and coming up with the right answer...but

It seems like 12% is a LOT to reduce for stretch. I mean, if your bust is say 40" and you're taking off more than 4", that's 2" per side and I really don't think you want to reduce the armholes that much. I also don't know if you'd want to reduce the shoulder width by any. You should probably only reduce width where the fabric is going to stretch the most (bust and hips in my case) and only reduce the pattern at those points.

Just an opinion!

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Pinkytoo


Date: 6/30/11 8:07 AM

Pinky, you brought up some great points. First, removing 2" per side for a 12% stretch is an awful lot. When I'm working with a Lutterloh pattern and I want to use a knit, I go down two dots, which is the equivalent of about 1/4". So with that in mind, I'd suggest Silverlily to use half the amount, in this case, 1/2 instead of 1" per side and see if that works. Then adjust up or down if needed.

Second, as to the shoulder length, that shouldn't be reduced because when working with knits, you have to stabilize the shoulder anyway to keep it from stretching. Your shoulder length doesn't stretch if you're wearing a knit, but everything else does.
-- Edited on 6/30/11 8:08 AM --

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Nancy K
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In reply to silverlilly1


Date: 6/30/11 8:23 AM

You really need to make a muslin with a knit of comparable stretch to what you plan on using. Every knit is just a bit different. The general way to reduce for knit is not to take it off the sides but to fold out down the length inside the garment front and back 1/4 of the amount you want to remove. I'd trace the original shoulder and use that because you probably don't want to shorten your shoulder.
You have to decide how much negative ease you really want or if you want it at all. It depends on your figure and the look you are going after. I have a moulage that I made into a blouse/dress sloper and a suit sloper. Lynn Maynard suggests using the moulage, which has no ease, for knits. You can then baste and take it in to where you want the fit. I have made the same knit pattern with knits with lots of lycra and some with none and I use in case, wider side seams and sleeve seams to get the fit I want. I baste and then I serge using the basting stitch as my guideline.

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silverlilly1
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In reply to stirwatersblue


Date: 6/30/11 10:25 AM

I'm making a supportive underdress-a kirtle, and in order to maintain that bust support I need to alter the pattern. I will not be wearing a bra with this, so as you put it, I definitely do need the fit to stay exactly the same. I know a stretchy fabric is not ideal, but I need to make this one work. It's not actually a knit I'm using, but a 2-way stretch woven. The nature of the garment demands that the non-stretchy block I made my previous dress from has almost NO ease, so I can't just take it in by fitting, and with $20/meter fabric, I can't afford to make a muslin. Taking from the center alone will not work for two reasons. First, the center seam is not straight, but curved for the bust. Second, if I took from only the center, the armholes would gape too far inward toward my chest when the non- reduced sides stretched.
-- Edited on 6/30/11 10:31 AM -- :confused:
-- Edited on 6/30/11 10:34 AM --

lca
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In reply to silverlilly1


Date: 6/30/11 12:00 PM

Sorry, that was to mean that I posted a comment in the wrong place, not that your thread is in the wrong place.

Thanks Stirwaterblue.
-- Edited on 6/30/11 12:01 PM --

stirwatersblue
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Subject: Adjusting woven patterns armholes for stretch? Date: 6/30/11 2:16 PM

I'm familiar with bust-supportive kirtles, and I'm concerned that no matter what you do, stretch fabric isn't going to work how you want. The nature of the bodice block uses the natural stretch of a fabric like linen or wool to ease around your body's curves without wrinkling, while the curved front seam/opening gives you the necessary snugness underneath the bust. Can you flatline the bodice with something stable that can take the burden of support, like canvas, or at least a sturdy linen or cotton broadcloth? It will allow you to keep the original fit of the bodice without having the support give way to the stretch.

If lining is not an option, then I would find yourself a much cheaper fabric with a similar degree of stretch to test with.

My other suggestion is to do exactly what you did the first time: Fit it by draping. Have your original skilled fitting assistant come back and repeat the process with the stretch fabric. I think there are going to be too many variables to predict accurately how the stretch will affect the fit, and this is probably your best option.

Good luck! I, for one, want to see this $20/meter fabric! It must be glorious.

-- Edited on 6/30/11 2:17 PM --

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